Microsoft has decided to roll out a new consensus mechanism for users that are working with the Azure system. The mechanism is known as ‘proof-of-authority,’ and replaces the so called proof-of-work (PoW) mining process, present in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) or Litecoin (LTC).
Nonetheless, the new system is applicable only in permissioned networks. That means that private blockchains or those used by invited and selected participants. The information has been released by Cody Born, Software Engineer at Azure Global.
Ethereum Proof of Authority on Azure
The company informs that they have built the solution as they have done with other past products. Each consensus node in Proof-of-Authority has its own Ethereum identity, and if a node goes down, it is important not to lose consensus participation.
Mr. Born, explains about how to solve this situation:
“To accomplish this, we’ve built an abstraction which allows each consensus participant to delegate multiple nodes to run on their behalf. Each Azure Proof-of-Authority network comes with our identity leasing system that ensures that no two nodes carry the same identity. In the case of a VM or regional outage, new nodes can quickly spin up and resume the previous nodes’ identities.”
This system is much more efficient than other mechanisms. Transactions can be verified efficiently, and the security remains high. As Born says, the Proof-of-Authority is designed for permissioned networks due to the fact that all consensus participants are known and reputable.
Microsoft explains that they have leveraged Parity’s Proof-of-Authority client with the intention to build a level of abstraction that would allow users to separate consortium governance from network operation. Consortium members have the power to govern the network and can delegate the consensus participation to another operator they decide.
“With this solution, each consortium member has custody over his or her own keys, allowing secure signing to be performed in the walletof preference, for example, MetaMask in-browser wallet, Ledger hardware wallet, or Azure Key Vault with ECC signing,” reads the post.
This is not the first time that developers came with the idea of creating a proof-of-authority mechanism, indeed, it was conceived by developers from ethereum client Parity. Furthermore the mechanism has been already tested and deployed on the famous VeChain blockchain network.